One of my favorite parts in the movie, Dances with Wolves, is when Stands With Fist describes to Dunbar how she was given her name.
When I came to live on the prairie, I worked every day… very hard… there was a woman who didn’t like me. She called me bad names… sometimes she beat me. One day she was calling me these bad names, her face in my face, and I hit her. I was not very big, but she fell down. She fell hard and didn’t move. I stood over her with my fist and asked if any other woman wanted to call me bad names… No one bothered me after that day.
I’m not advocating physically knocking someone down—this is my way of conveying a metaphorical interpretation of standing up for oneself.
I have had the desire to stop writing about depression because I feel as if I’m not reaching anyone. I use way too many words to describe personal struggles I incur while working toward recovery. I write about my vulnerabilities, many difficult to reveal, in order to share what it’s like living with depression. To show others they aren’t alone, as well as enlightening those who have never experienced depression.
My message is lost in my words.
Depressed people don’t want to be depressed, contrary to what some believe.
To repeat an example I have seen far too many times—would you make the following statements to a diabetic?
“You wouldn’t be a diabetic if you didn’t think you were”—“snap out of your diabetes”—“all you need to do is to have positive thoughts and your diabetes will go away”—“if you pray, and have enough Faith, your diabetes will go away”—“diabetes is all in your mind”—“you just need to get out more, be around others, and your diabetes will go away”.
Diabetes, along with many other diseases or disabilities, can’t be cured, but it can be managed.
Mental illness, in any form, is a disease.
In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), there are many definitions of mental illness. Depression is a general term, but there are many complex diagnostic definitions under the umbrella of depression.
Any definition of mental illness, is a painful existence.
I stand with fist, and will continue to speak until everybody hears what is lost within my abundance of words.
…..maybe I’ll start by using less words?